Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Developmental Developments

Lately, the kids have been doing and saying some things that really indicate how much they're changing, developmentally-speaking. It's fascinating to watch them develop their sense of empathy, cause and effect, loyalty,  their sibling relationship.

Amelia is just working out what it means to be loyal, to have that fierce love for her family.  Last week, Anderson wanted something that I had taken away--I think it was a digital thermometer, which he had been using as a camera in some little game they had been playing. We were on our way out the door and needed to leave quickly, so I just kind of grabbed it and put it away, which made Anderson cry.  Amelia grew very indignant, emphasizing to me that "he was just playing with it, just pretending it's a camera", and ending with "you should give it back to my brother!"  'My brother', as in ownership, not in the way of property, but in a way that meant she claimed him--he was hers. Although I stuck to my guns (and offered some other toy as a camera, which completely pacified him), the moment was tender, one that I filed away in the little box of precious memories that occupies a corner of my heart. A few days later, Anderson was upset with me about something or other, I forget what. He yelled at me, ordering me to do something (don't worry; I don't respond to demands made by five-year-olds. I most certainly did not submit to his request...). Amelia winced and immediately piped up with, "Hey! You don't talk to my mother like that!"  Loyalty. Love. Family. She really gets it.

They've also been playing together much more meaningfully lately.  Instead of just playing near each other, they're playing detailed games, during which they come up with the rules. It's very cool to watch. One unintended side-effect of this increase in playing together is the development of a more "normal" sibling relationship. And by normal I mean they're getting on each others' nerves.  And by 'they' I mean Anderson is acting like a typical brother and intentionally irritating Amelia, who never fails to whine very LOUDLY about whatever it is that he's doing. Yesterday,  they were playing some little game, and Anderson started running away from her whenever she would get near. Now, he's faster than her--he outweighs her by almost twenty pounds and is just bigger in general--so he would run into another room, slam the door, and not let her in. Incessant whining/yelling would ensue. He would CRACK UP, open the door, and let her in only to repeat the same process over again. I actually uttered the words, "Anderson, stop irritating your sister."  Those words, while possibly annoying to any other mama, are music to my own ears. There was a time when I wasn't sure they'd form this relationship. I wasn't sure he'd form any obvious relationships at all. So to see him annoying his sister, like any brother would? Sure, it's a tad frustrating (mostly because of the decibel of her whining), but mostly it's wonderful.  Last night I had to get on him for squeezing her cheeks before running out of his room, cackling like a mad man. Ahhh, the joys of parenting. :-)

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